The current cryptocurrency crisis could have unexpected consequences. According to a study by Chainalysis published on August 16, the fall of cryptocurrencies has led to a fall in cybercrime revenues worldwide. While the cryptocurrency crisis does not in itself explain this phenomenon, it has nonetheless contributed to draining the finances of online criminals.
I must say that since the beginning of the year, prices for major cryptocurrencies have sometimes fallen by more than 50%, and the number of closing companies has only increased. In a panic, potential buyers are abandoning cryptocurrencies – even cybercriminals. Indeed, for the first time since 2019, the use of cryptocurrencies has dropped dramatically for both legal and illegal transactions, according to Chainalysis. However, criminal activity is less affected by falling prices than legitimate activity. Thus, the volume of transactions as a result of cryptocrimes in the first half of the year fell by 15% compared to 36% for the volume of traditional transactions.
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If the income of criminals is declining, it is because the fall in the price of cryptocurrencies tends to reduce the credibility of the scammers, according to Chainalysis: Indeed, falling asset prices make promises of big profits less credible.” In addition, the report notes that novice investors, historically more naive, are less present in times of crisis…and therefore less likely to fall for scammers.
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In its study, Chainalysis notes that large cryptocurrency scams typically collect a large proportion of illegal transactions. She cites PlusToken, one of the biggest scams in the $2 billion ecosystem that took place in 2019, and Finiko, which allowed $1.5 billion to be withdrawn in 2021.
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As a result of the fall of cryptocurrencies in 2022, the amounts stolen by large online fraudulent campaigns will decrease dramatically. The highest amount was achieved by the JuicyFields scam with $273 million, followed by Unique-Exchange which made $267 million.
Will cryptocurrencies finally survive a strong rebound?